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[sep-er-uh-tist, -uh-rey-] /ˈsɛp ər ə tɪst, -əˌreɪ-/
a person who separates, withdraws, or secedes, as from an established church.
an advocate of separation, especially ecclesiastical or political separation.
of, relating to, or designating separatism or separatists:
separatist forces; separatist tendencies.
Origin of separatist
1600-10; separate (adj.) + -ist
Related forms
separatism, noun
antiseparatist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for separatism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Unionism and order: separatism and ordure—that is about the sum.

    Ireland as It Is Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
  • The second was the so-called Cossack separatism or self-determination.

    The Russian Turmoil

    Anton Ivanovich Denikin
  • separatism, disorder, and devastation, were the natural consequence.

  • The aims of separatism may be classed as direct and indirect.

    The Katipunan J. Brecknock Watson (AKA Francis St. Clair)
  • It is one of the glaring weaknesses of the policy of Free Imports that it actually puts a premium on separatism.

  • separatism in some form existed before Browne's zeal made it a thorn in the side of the bishops.

    The Beginners of a Nation Edward Eggleston.
  • separatism, though it owed something to (p. 147) Browne's activity, was not founded by him.

    The Beginners of a Nation Edward Eggleston.
British Dictionary definitions for separatism


/ˈsɛpərətɪst; ˈsɛprə-/
  1. a person who advocates or practises secession from an organization or group
  2. (as modifier): a separatist movement
Derived Forms
separatism, noun
separatistic, adjective


/ˈsɛpərətɪst; ˈsɛprə-/
(sometimes not capital) a person who advocates the secession of a province, esp Quebec, from Canada
Derived Forms
Separatism, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for separatism

1620s, from separate + -ism. First used in a denominational religious sense; from 1866 in a political sense.


c.1600, from separate + -ist. First used in a denominational religious sense; of political separations from 1871.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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